Discovery Rides Oprah’s Coattails to a Profitable Quarter
Media companies have been struggling lately, but Discovery has emerged from the fray with stronger programming and even more solid numbers.
It can probably credit that new prosperity to one woman – but considering she’s a woman with the ear of millions of households across America, she’s the right person to bank on. Oprah may be leaving her show, but she’s starting a new network, and it may be the key to Discovery’s new success.
Discovery may owe much of its new solidity to the development of the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which pulled in $287 million in ad sales all on its own. Overall affiliate revenue improved to $245 million, an increase of 4%, and the ad growth grew a whopping 10%, netting CPM increases between 15-25%.
Some of this confidence may be due to the always-profitable Oprah franchise, which has thrown in its lot with Discovery after announcements that Oprah will be retiring from her show after her 25-year run. The new OWN network anticipates reaching approximately 80 million households, and with that fact in mind, Discovery will be pushing its carriage fees upward from 14 cents per subscriber to a reported 40 cents.
Naturally, operators will raise an uproar. But the OWN network will be the only place for viewers to find their beloved Oprah, and they’re liable to raise an even bigger ruckus if they can’t find her.
Discovery may be riding Oprah’s coattails, but that’s proving to be one of the best negotiating seats in the house.
Posted at 07:05 am by Peter Koeppel